review for The Virgin Suicides on AllMovie

The Virgin Suicides (1999)
by Perry Seibert review

The Virgin Suicides paints an emotionally harrowing portrait of adolescence. Simultaneously nostalgic and foreboding, Coppola finds just the right tone to deliver a warning about the way girls grow up in society, while still having enough grace to show us there may be hope. The cinematography and acting reinforce the theme of fantasy colliding with reality. Ed Lachman utilizes a dreamy, nostalgic look which allows the tragedy of the film to hit the audience even harder. Kirsten Dunst gives a stunningly mature performance. She manages to simultaneously play both the fantasy dream girl and the pained reality that make up the conflicting aspects of Lux's personality. Giovanni Ribisi narrates the film with a voice that is simultaneously resigned and filled with wonder. It is the voice of maturity looking back on youth. He is a representation of the adult voice of all the boys in the neighborhood who spent their days fantasizing about Lux and her sisters. At the end of the film, he tells the audience that they now realize they knew nothing at all about the Lisbon girls. This understanding may be the first step.